Why Do We Care About Responsible Gambling

For bettors, safe gambling should always be a top priority when choosing this form of entertainment. No player should be confident that they are exempt from gambling problems, which can range from a pastime to a terrifying obsession with severe consequences. In addition to the effects on the player himself, such as financial imbalance or mental health and disturbance in personal life, gambling can also negatively affect the family and friends of those addicted to it.

Health professionals classify gambling addiction as a behavioral control disorder syndrome. As a result, people with this syndrome cannot control their addiction to gambling, even though they know it is wreaking havoc on their lives and relationships with the people they care about. They are willing to bet regardless of win or lose outcome, unfavorable odds, and their ability to pay. A gambling addiction can even cause a player to do things beyond their moral boundaries, such as stealing money or doing similar actions to get a gambling budget. 

Note: There is a subjective opinion that gambling addiction is just an excuse for individuals who are lazy, have no willpower, are not competent, or lack responsibility for their lives. However, the truth is that it is a disease and can affect anyone, no matter how smart and responsible they are.

Therefore, as an organization operating in the online gambling industry, we never expect such bad things to happen to our customers. You might think that we would benefit anyway when gamblers are constantly betting big money, but that's not what we do. We are here to help players have the safest and healthiest online gambling environment. Therefore, player gambling syndrome is not profitable for us in any way, and we are constantly working to find ways to protect our players from it.

Gambling Addiction Signs Analysis

Unlike other common illnesses, gambling addiction syndrome does not include obvious physical signs or symptoms. So it's hard to tell which players are having trouble with this. Even more challenging is the detection and treatment of this syndrome, as gamblers often deny or downplay the seriousness of the problem they are facing. 

Note: Not all gamblers gamble every day, and not everyone who gambles every day has a gambling problem. It only concerns the perception and self-control of each player's behavior. So the frequency of gambling doesn't say as much as we think it does.

The best way to detect problem gambling symptoms and diagnosis depends most on the player himself. Although it is not easy, gambling addiction syndrome can still be recognized through its potential signs. As such, we've outlined some of the most common situations in which players can tell if they're under the influence of gambling addiction, even if its effects are negligible. 

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs are the first signs of gambling addiction. They do not mean that the patient is in serious condition. They do, however, show that a gambling disorder is already ingrained in the player's mind and can develop at any time, long before the player actually realizes it. Common behavioral signs include:

  • Stops doing things they previously enjoyed
  • Misses family events
  • Changes patterns of sleep, eating, or sex
  • Ignores self-care, work, school, or family tasks
  • Has conflicts over money with other people
  • Uses alcohol or other drugs more often
  • Leaves children alone seem less concerned about who looks after them, neglects their basic care
  • Thinks about gambling all the time
  • Is less willing to spend money on things other than gambling
  • Cheats or steals to get the money to gamble or pay debts
  • Have legal problems related to gambling
  • Is often late for work or school
  • Organizes staff pools
  • Is gone for long, unexplained periods of time
  • Neglects personal responsibilities.

Emotional Signs

If the gambling disorder becomes more severe, it will affect the victim's psyche and create negative emotions for them. Specifically, the typical emotional signs of a person with a gambling problem are: 

  • Withdraws from family and friends
  • Seems far away, anxious, or has difficulty paying attention
  • Has mood swings and sudden outbursts of anger
  • Complains of boredom or restlessness
  • Seems depressed or suicidal.

Financial Signs

When a person becomes addicted to gambling, they will invest more and more money into it. Therefore, they will always be in a state of lack of money and make their finances seriously unbalanced. That will create financial cues that can help you see if a player is affected by a gambling disorder.

  • Frequently borrow money or ask for salary advances
  • Takes a second job without a change in finances
  • Cash in savings accounts, RRSP, or insurance plans
  • Alternates between being broke and flashing money
  • Family members complain that valuables and appliances are disappearing, or money is missing from a bank account or wallet.

Health Signs

Although it is challenging to connect negative health signs with gambling addiction, the truth is that gambling disorders actually affect the health of their victims in different ways. For example:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach and bowel problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Overeating, or loss of appetite.

Youth Gambling Signs and Indicators

Adolescents are more vulnerable to gambling addiction than adults, based on their immature perceptions. In addition, teen gambling disorder victims often experience more severe conditions that significantly affect their future recovery. Therefore, gambling prevention for minors is paramount. Signs to identify a minor with signs of gambling addiction may include:

  • Skipping school
  • Preoccupation with video arcades, Internet gambling sites, sports results, or TV poker
  • Missing money without an adequate explanation
  • Borrowing or stealing money from friends and family
  • Selling or losing possessions
  • Large unexplained amounts of cash
  • Fake ID, casino entry cards, or racetrack receipts among belongings
  • An Internet trail

Safe Gambling and Problem Gambling Prevention

If you've read this far, we commend you wholeheartedly because whether you've ever been a successful quit gambling addict or someone who hasn't been affected by it, you are still looking to find ways to make their gambling experience safer.

Understand That Gambling Is Not a Way to Make Money

There is a reasonably common deviation in gamblers' perception about this type of entertainment, which is that it can help them earn big money, orat least is to get out of current financial difficulties. However, this mindset is fraught with risks as it fuels the development of gambling addiction. The fact is, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to change their destiny through betting, and the more people aspire to become rich through it, the deeper the consequences of gambling addiction will be.

So, if you want to stay away from gambling problems, or at least enjoy it healthily, making money gambling is never a safe enough option. All betting matches apply odds, meaning that no matter how much you gamble, you will still be at a disadvantage, in the end, thanks to pre-calculated algorithms and in favor of the operator.

While you can get lucky and win big on a low-stake bet, your luck doesn't last forever. In the worst-case scenario, people who win these often become more excited and gamble more. As a result, they will quickly spend their previous winnings or even lose more.

Therefore, never, even for a moment, think that you can make a profit from gambling. This goal will never bring you any positive for your gambling experience. 

See Gambling as a Form of Entertainment That Costs Something

A good way to calm your mind against the effects of gambling addiction is that you should treat it like any other form of entertainment, and you should pay for the services you enjoy. However, the only difference is probably that the cost of gambling will be slightly higher. Therefore, your experience will become much more dramatic, that's why you have to spend some more money on gambling, just to chase your loss.

For example: If you go out to eat or go to the movies, you have to pay for your meal and your ticket; then, if you participate in betting, you will have to pay a deposit to get the entertainment back in the betting matches. 

If you can master your thoughts in such a sober way, you will never regret the money you lost or try to bet more to win it back. After all,just think of it like this: Even if you've lost your bet, you've already enjoyed the thrill of the approaching victory, and your lost money hasn't gone to waste as you might think. This mindset will help you gamble more safely and stay away from the trouble it can cause.

Only Gamble With Money You Can Afford to Lose

One of the most common reasons a problem gambling player admits to the source of their gambling addiction is that they are not serious enough to manage personal spending. More specifically, they often spend more money on gambling than they intend to, or in many cases, cut back on spending on more important life factors such as food, living bills, in order to have more money to gamble.

So to keep your gambling experience safe and avoid repeating the mistakes of these gamblers, you should only allow yourself to bet on the amount you can lose. For example, you can set aside a separate fund of your monthly salary to gamble and stop until the next month if you have spent all the money.

Don’t Try to Win Back What You’ve Lost

The safety of your gambling depends a lot on your mental health. Some serious gamblers will accept the downside of this game, which is that they can completely lose their entire bet, and they happily accept that as part of the deal. At the same time, some other players feel uncomfortable about this, and they try to bet more to win back what they have lost. In the experience of experts, if you belong to the first group, you will seldom experience significant financial losses when gambling.

We don't judge any player for being angry and sad when he loses a bet and wanting to bet more to cover his loss because it's only natural. However, as long as you have established yourself in a mindset good enough to accept that it is possible that you will lose, you will not let gambling negatively impact your life and finances. 

Don’t Play With Borrowed Money

Under any circumstances, borrowing money to place bets cannot provide you with a safe gambling experience. However, you need to be clear about the context of your loan, that is, whether the money you are borrowing is actually in the funds you have for gambling. For example, if you have money in your account and are just having problems with your payment method, borrowing from your friends should be no problem. On the other hand, if you take out a loan before the next payday and plan to repay the loan after you get paid, you are in a dangerous situation and could end up with gambling related problems.

More specifically, the fact that you need to borrow money to gamble signifies that you are out of balance in controlling your personal finances. If the spike in your spending comes from the funds you put aside for betting, you need to fix this quickly and get things back to normal. 

Besides, borrowing money can lead you to dangers to your safety in life, when you can completely be scammed by loan sharks. 

Keep Track of the Time and Money Spent While Gambling

The modern betting interface and eye-catching interfaces of online betting sites can plunge you into entertainment and lose the sense of time. For example, you may feel like you've only been betting for an hour, when in reality, three hours have passed.

As for money, things are not much different. Scientifically, your memories of winning bets will often be more vivid and lasting than your losses, which is quite understandable since they are accompanied by positive energies and emotions. As a result, many players cannot estimate the true amount of money they have lost to gambling since they started betting, and the actual number is always much more extensive than they think.

Therefore, you should always pay attention to the amount of time by using bookmaker’s reponsible self help tools and the money you spend on this form of entertainment to avoid falling into it and creating unforeseen consequences.

Set a Money Limit in Advance

This option allows you to set the maximum amount you can deposit and the maximum amount you can lose in a predefined period. Depending on your needs, it could be a day, a week, a month, or more. Thanks to it, you will always be the owner of the financial funds that you spend on gambling.

Set a Time Limit in Advance

Similar to the money limit, you can ask the operator to stop providing you with the service if you have gambled beyond the time you allow yourself to do so. For example, you can set this limit at 6 hours per week.

These limits will always stay true to your previous settings and become an impenetrable barrier protecting you from falling into gambling if your desire to gamble is greater than you can imagine.

Do Not Use Your Credit and Debit Cards When Betting

Credit and debit cards are the two most likely factors that allow players to spend more than they have. So, unless you can be confident in your self-control in your betting decisions, you should never bring these cards with you to land-based gambling establishments or online betting sites.

If You’re No Longer Having Fun, Stop Playing

Gambling is like any other form of entertainment. If you don't feel comfortable enjoying the services, you'd better stop using them. The fact that you are not in the best mental state when betting can come from many different reasons, but it's unlikely that this will result in a positive experience for you. 

Use Self-Exclusion Options Whenever You Feel It’s Needed

If all of our suggestions above didn't work for you, it means you're really having a hard time protecting yourself from gambling problems. In this case, the self-exclusion methods may be useful to you. It allows you to block yourself from your favorite platforms for a predefined time, which can last for weeks, months, or years depending on the severity of gambling's consequences for your life. 

This option sounds absolutely effective, but in reality, it is not 100% safe as it prevents you from gambling until the validity period is over. In fact, some operators may allow you to cancel your self-exclusion if you ask for it. Besides, this method only applies to those platforms where you report that you have a problem with gambling, which means you have the option to cheat yourself and sign up at other betting sites.

So, if you're having a severe problem controlling your betting behavior, to the point where self-exclusion doesn't work for you, you should seek the help of health professionals or organizations that support safe gambling.

Don’t Combine Gambling With Alcohol or Drugs

Alcohol, drugs, and all other drugs can lead you to make false judgments about all aspects of life, not just gambling. They can cause you to lose more money when you bet in an inactive state.

You may think you can't always stay intoxicated when gambling and become subjective about its effects, but in fact, gambling experts suggest that your being under the influence of gambling psychostimulants can gradually change your perception of it, and bring you closer to gambling addiction.

So always remember that gambling never forms a positive association with alcohol and drugs. If you want to gamble more safely, you always need a clear mind to never regret what you've done.

Don’t Play When Depressed, Upset, or Anxious, and Don’t Play to Escape Other Issues

Like alcohol, drugs, and other stimulants, negative mental states can greatly affect your ability to think when gambling. They will lead you to bad and lack-of-sanity decisions.

In the worst cases, we've found that some players choose to gamble as a method to cope with depression, irritability, anxiety, or other problems they face in their lives. However, that is never an optimal solution but only leads you to more serious consequences for your mental health

Balance Gambling With Other Activities

To avoid repeating the mistake of gambling addicts of spending too much time on it, you need to balance your life and limit the influence of gambling through joining other activities. It is important to remember that gambling is just one form of entertainment among the many options that you can have, and knowing how to properly allocate time for it is one of the ways that you can gamble safely.

If you find it challenging to do this and feel like you never spend enough time gambling, that is the first sign that gambling negatively affects you, and what you need to do is seek the help of professionals. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Someone and Get Help

It's never easy to get over your gambling addiction, especially when you do not have the objectivity of your loved ones in seeing and solving problems. Therefore, it is essential that you seek help from people you trust, and it makes your situation easier to deal with when you have more approaches.

It would help if you always remembered that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, you are a brave player who dares to accept and face your problems. So don't hesitate to share your gambling problems with family, friends, and anyone else who can help you.

Gamble Only at Fair Betting Sites

Finally, to gamble safely, you need to pay attention to choosing transparent and reliable betting sites. The reason is that no matter how confident you are in your ability to control your betting behavior, you can still suffer if you play at a scam platform and have your entire winnings confiscated by the operator. 

If you wonder how to tell if a website is honest and reputable, you can refer to our article How to choose online betting sites. This article compiles all the information you need to know on finding a betting platform that is suitable for you and gives you the most recognizable signs of the leading platforms in the industry. 

How to Stop Gambling for Good

The explosion of the internet has made online sports betting accessible to most bettors. You can bet whenever and wherever you want, while countless platforms on the market always provide the most professional and optimal services to your betting preferences. Therefore, it makes things more difficult for gamblers.

The biggest challenge of detoxing with any addiction is in the process of recovery and isolation from the addiction, rather than in the decision to give it up. Therefore, you need to clearly identify the factors that make you decide and maintain your gambling behavior so that you can answer the question of how to overcome problem gambling. The factors that have the most impact on a player's gambling behavior include.

Your Decision

You are the first to be able to control your gambling behavior before it happens. Therefore, the best way to prevent you from returning to the sports betting market is to influence your thinking at the very moment you intend to gamble. 

For example: If you are feeling the urge to bet, you should immediately stop whatever you are doing and seek support from people you trust. If you are alone, you should call someone. If that still doesn't work, you can think about the consequences of the action you are about to take or simply find another way to pass the time and avoid thinking about gambling.

Your Money 

Money is the most critical factor in betting behavior. If you don't have money, you can't bet. So you can eliminate gambling from your routine by letting your loved one take control of your personal finances for a while. At that time, you should only keep a small amount of cash with you and freeze all your online payment accounts. 

This self-restriction should only be for a limited time as it can create an inhibition if you can't spend your hard-earned money for a long time. Therefore, as soon as you have successfully quit gambling, you should take control of your spending. 

Note: Even if a gambler can afford to pay for their betting decisions, gambling can still cause problems if a player spends too much time on it. Therefore, never think that a rich player cannot have problems with gambling addiction syndrome.

Your Time

Online gambling can't affect you negatively if you don't spend time on it. So a good way to forget this form of entertainment is to spend time on other activities. 

Stay in Safe Mode From Online Betting Site

You can't gamble if you don't allow online betting platforms to tout you about it. So put self-exclusion on your betting account, tell the operators you frequent at their sites that you have a gambling problem, or remove all gambling apps silver on your smartphone. That will keep you away from the online gambling environment. 

Finding Alternatives to Gambling

If you are having trouble starting a new life without gambling, you can refer to the solutions we have suggested below. They are alternatives based on the reasons you let gambling into your world. 

First, if you are gambling to provide excitement and make your life more dramatic, get an adrenaline boost through thrilling and possibly combative sports, for example, football, badminton, tennis, or other activities like cycling or climbing.

Second, suppose you are gambling to be more social, to overcome your feelings of shyness or fear of isolation. In that case, you can sign up for classes that will help you gain more confidence, such as body control classes, public speaking skills, or volunteering activities. Those places will help you integrate better with people and find new relationships.

Next, if you think that gambling will help you to forget about your discomfort or avoid thinking about the problems you are having in your life, you can reach out to health professionals to find out which emotional therapies are suitable for you.

Alternatively, if you find yourself gambling out of boredom or feeling lonely in your relationships, you can find a new hobby for yourself. It can be music, movies, sports, food, history, and many other fields. Who knows, these fields can help you meet other people with similar interests and help you create healthy relationships. 

In addition, some players say that gambling helps them relieve stress and relax after a stressful day at work. However, you have more sane ways to do this. Daily exercise, watching your favorite shows, and hanging out with people you care about can also help you relax. They are even more effective than an expensive form of entertainment like gambling.

Finally, if gambling is to find solutions to the debts you have to pay, it is never a safe bet. You will have to invest a lot of money to hope for big wins, but you will face high-risk odds. So, if you are in financial difficulty, you should seek help from a credit union instead of betting all your hopes on gambling.

Problem Gambling Self-Help

The journey from realizing that you are a gambling addict until the disease is completely cured is challenging. However, as long as you recognize that you have a problem, you've already solved it halfway. The other half depends on your willpower and courage. You may think you're alone along the way, but the reality is many gamblers have been in your situation and have succeeded in getting back to everyday life. So be confident, and you can do what you think you can't do.

If you are at this stage, you can refer to our suggestions below to quit gambling more effectively. 

Learn How to Reduce Discomfort in Healthier Ways 

If you think gambling is about reducing feelings of loneliness, boredom, or stress in your relationships, you can look to healthier and more effective ways to help you get through them. It could be exercising, reading, discovering new relationships, or other ways to find joy on your own. 

Strengthen Your Support Network 

If you are in an environment where many people are not involved in gambling or are involved in online betting sites, it will be easier for you to quit gambling. Therefore, you should seek as much support from such relationships as possible. For example, it could be your coworkers at work, your teammates at a sports team you just joined, or new friends at an afterschool class you just signed up for. 

Join a Peer-To-Peer Support Group 

If you are facing more complex challenges, help from someone with experience can be beneficial. For example, you can join a group of people who have overcome gambling addiction syndrome to receive the most practical guidance. In addition, problem gambling help centers like Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, or GamStop also provide effective recovery programs that you can refer to. 

Problem Gambling Help as for Family and Friends

We're sorry if you discovered one of your loved ones or friends had had a severe gambling problem. If that happens in your helplessness or you are not sure what to do, you can refer to our guide above on helping a player realize that he is addicted to gambling and get over it.

However, it would help if you did not neglect to check the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction to be sure of what you are suspecting. The Featured Gambling Questionnaire can be an effective way to verify this, but it depends on the fidelity of the answers and is a rather sensitive matter to address. Therefore, it is more important that you show a positive attitude and want to help when investigating whether your loved one is addicted to gambling, rather than criticizing and making negative comments.

If you and your loved one both accept the fact that a gambling problem exists and are looking to overcome it, you can consult the experts at organizations that sponsor responsible gambling. In addition, you can dig deeper into gambling and why it is so addictive to know your loved one's current state and the possible ways to improve it.

In addition, you can suggest more flexible approaches to your loved one to gradually deal with gambling addiction. These could be limits on bet amounts or entertainment time at sportsbooks or offer valuable bonuses or rewards to them if they don't visit these betting sites during a certain time. Those methods come with positive energy and are more effective than forcing your loved one to cut the addiction immediately.

Note: If your loved one is facing a large amount of debt due to his gambling addiction, financial help to fix the problem quickly is always needed. However, you should never use this to cover up your loved one's behavior. It only makes the gambling addiction eligible to continue and worsens the situation.

Problem Gambling Diagnosis Tools 

There are many tools that can help you discover whether your daily gambling experience can create negative effects on yourself or not. In this article, we will cover the three most popular methods for your reference. Each of them has its own characteristics, and there are some that medical professionals can only use. Please refer to them and try as many solutions as possible to get the most accurate diagnosis of your condition.

GamblersAnonymous Questionnaire

Gamblers Anonymous is a non-profit organization that has helped the recovery of many patients of gambling addiction worldwide. For those who are unsure about their gambling, the experts from this organization have created a questionnaire with 20 questions available for them to answer and refer to themselves. 

Some of the questions in the questionnaire include: 

  • Have you ever lost time at work or school due to gambling?
  • Has gambling ever made your family life unhappy?
  • Does gambling affect your reputation?
  • Have you ever felt regret after gambling?
  • and many more questions that you can consult at the website gamblersanonymous.org

For a player to be concerned about their gambling disorder, they must answer 'yes' to a minimum of 7 questions. Even so, this is just a form of self-conjecture that you should only refer to. If you want to check more closely, you should see a gambling professional for advice.

Gambling Disorder Identification Test (G-DIT)

This is a test designed and developed by a team of experts from Sweden. It acts as a tool to measure the frequency of gambling behavior, as well as the associated symptoms and consequences of people with problem gambling. Theoretically, this test is based on a multiple-choice scale of 9 to 12 items and takes the form of players taking self-report measures, backtests, and interviews with gambling addiction counselors. 

In fact, this method shows high reliability and accuracy in diagnostic results, thereby helping patients to access appropriate gambling addiction treatment.

The DSM-5 Diagnosis

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the most widely used official diagnostic method of gambling addiction by global health professionals. Specifically, you need to meet four or more factors in a list of 12 symptoms of gambling addiction for experts to determine that you have a problem with gambling. 

For example: Some manifestations are the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve desired excitement, restlessness or irritability when trying to cut back or stop gambling, repeated unsuccessful attempts to control, cut back or stop gambling, lying to conceal the extent of gambling involvement, etc. 

The DSM-5 is a tool used by professionals, so its results are more detailed and give a more complex diagnosis than other self-diagnostic methods. However, you are strongly advised not to try this method on your own to avoid getting erroneous results. Instead, you should seek the help of experienced people.

Other Diagnostic Tools

Besides the methods introduced above, many other tools are helpful in identifying the signs of gambling addiction. These tools have in common because they are all based on a questionnaire, but each of them has a unique approach to gambling problems. If you want to learn more, you can refer to Gambling Therapy self-assessment questions, GamCare self-assessment tool, and GambleAware self-assessment tool.

In addition, the operators of each betting site also provide a basic set of questions for those interested in the matter. You can find relevant information in the Responsible Gaming section of your platform.

Gambling Addiction Treatment 

Gambling addiction is similar to any other addiction, as there are always treatments available for severely affected patients. Therefore, do not give up if you feel gambling has too much impact on your life. Seeking help doesn't mean weakness or inability to handle your problem, but the courage to accept it and try to get rid of it. 

Every player involved in problem gambling often has different experiences that have led to their current situation. Therefore, you need detailed advice from health professionals to know which of the popular options best suits your case. These include

Inpatient or Residential Treatment and Rehab Programs

They are the routines used by people with severe gambling addictions. You should try this therapy if you can't control yourself and need someone to support you all the time to avoid your gambling addiction relapse.

Cognitive-behavioral Therapy

This popular method focuses on changing the behavior and consciousness of players with distorted thoughts about gambling. It can help you eliminate blind rationalizations in your thinking about the potential for long-term profits of this type of entertainment. In addition, this approach provides safe and sustainable solutions for you to deal with gambling addiction.

Treatment for Underlying Conditions

If your gambling behavior is influenced by other factors, such as substance abuse or mental health conditions such as depression or OCD, you should get them under control before you start worrying. Pay attention to your gambling problem. They can have serious consequences if you ignore them to treat gambling addiction. 

Family Therapy and Marriage, Career, and Credit Counseling

Help from loved ones and experienced people can help you restore your social relationships. From there, you can better integrate into the community and lay the groundwork for getting your financial situation back on track.

Conclusion

Anyone can become a victim of gambling addiction. It can impact the lives of both the players themselves and their families and friends. Therefore, it is important that you be confident in facing your own problems and have the courage to speak up and ask for help. 

This article covers many aspects of gambling problems, including the causes of gambling addiction and guidelines for players on how to gamble safely. In addition, a guide for family and friends is also essential as these people play a crucial role in helping gambling addicts change their daily habits. 

We hope that this article will be helpful to players and their loved ones in every possible way. Remember, this syndrome is ultimately just a disease, and those who suffer from it should always be offered all the help they need to overcome it in a workable manner.